Proposal to Expand Thunder Bay Boundary from 448 sq miles to 4,300

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposes to expand the boundary of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS or sanctuary) and revise the corresponding sanctuary terms of designation. The proposed new boundary for TBNMS would increase the size of the sanctuary from 448 square miles to 4,300 square miles and would extend protection to 47 additional known historic shipwrecks of national significance. A draft environmental impact statement has been prepared for this proposed action. NOAA is soliciting public comment on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement.

Comments will be considered if received by August 13, 2013. 

Public hearings will be held at 6 p.m. in the following locations:


  •      Monday, July 15--Presque Isle District Library, Rogers City Location, 181 East Erie Street, Rogers City, MI 49779.
  •      Tuesday, July 16--Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, 500 W. Fletcher Street, Alpena, MI 49707.
  •      Wednesday, July 17--Alcona County Library, Harrisville Branch, 312 W. Main, Harrisville, MI 48740.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 

NOAA-NOS-2012-0077, by any of the following methods:

     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2012-0077, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

     Mail: Submit written comments to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 500 W. Fletcher, Alpena, Michigan 49707, Attn: Jeff Gray, Superintendent.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 

address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 

may not be considered by NOAA. All comments received are a part of the 

public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on without change. All personal identifying 

information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 

information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 

by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA will accept anonymous 

comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 

anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 

Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Gray, Superintendent, Thunder Bay 

National Marine Sanctuary at 989-356-8805 ext. 12 or

    Copies of the draft environmental impact statement and proposed 

rule can be downloaded or viewed on the internet at 

(search for docket  NOAA-NOS-2012-0077) or at Copies can also be obtained by contacting the 

person identified under ``For Further information Contact''.




I. Background


A. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary


    Located in northwestern Lake Huron, Thunder Bay is adjacent to one 

of the most treacherous stretches of water within the Great Lakes 

system. Unpredictable weather, murky fog banks, sudden gales, and rocky 

shoals earned the area the name ``Shipwreck Alley''. Fire, ice, 

collisions, and storms have claimed nearly 200 vessels in and around 

Thunder Bay. Today, the 448-square-mile Thunder Bay National Marine 

Sanctuary (TBNMS or sanctuary) protects one of America's best-preserved 

and nationally-significant collections of shipwrecks. To date, 45 

shipwrecks have been discovered within the sanctuary. In addition to 

helping to protect and interpret individual sites, understanding the 

sanctuary in the context of a maritime cultural landscape reveals a 

broad historical canvas that can encompass many different perspectives 

to foster an interconnected understanding of the maritime past. As 

defined by the National Park Service, a cultural landscape is a 

geographic area including both cultural and natural resources, coastal 

environments, human communities, and related scenery that is associated 

with historic events, activities or persons, or exhibits other cultural 

or aesthetic values. The maritime cultural landscape allows Thunder 

Bay's maritime heritage to continue to unfold as new discoveries are 

made and encourages an increasingly diverse public to find shared 

meaning in this nationally significant place.

    Although the sheer number of shipwrecks is impressive, it is the 

range of vessel types located in the sanctuary, their excellent state 

of preservation and accessibility to the public that makes the 

collection nationally significant. From an 1844 sidewheel steamer to a 

modern 500-foot-long German freighter, the shipwrecks of Thunder Bay 

represent a microcosm of maritime commerce and travel on the Great 

Lakes. Well preserved by Lake Huron's cold, fresh water, the shipwrecks 

and related maritime heritage sites in and around Thunder Bay are 

historically, archaeologically and recreationally significant. NOAA 

designated the area as a national marine sanctuary in 2000. The 

sanctuary is managed jointly by NOAA and the State of Michigan under 

the umbrella of the 2002 Memorandum of Agreement (December 2002).


B. Need for Action


    The purpose of this proposed action would be to provide long-term 

protection and comprehensive management for 47 additional known 

historic shipwrecks of special national significance, and other 

maritime heritage resources (i.e. docks, cribs), located outside the 

sanctuary's existing boundary. The action would also provide protection 

for historic shipwrecks and maritime heritage resources yet to be 

discovered. This proposed action would be compatible with the purposes 

and policies of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA; 16 U.S.C. 


    Beyond the sanctuary's existing boundaries are 47 additional known 

historic shipwrecks that are at risk from threats which include both 

human activities and natural processes. Human threats include looting 

and altering sanctuary shipwreck sites, and damaging or destroying 

sites by anchoring. Natural processes include the impacts of wind, 

waves, storms and ice, as well as the impact of invasive species such 

as zebra and quagga mussels that today cover most of Lake Huron's 

shipwrecks. These processes threaten the long term sustainability of 

historic shipwrecks and other maritime heritage resources. In order to 

ensure long-term protection, these 47 additional known historic 

shipwreck sites require the same level of research and resource 

protection afforded sites within the existing TBNMS boundary.

    Although additional shipwreck sites exist outside the proposed 

boundary expansion area, NOAA's proposed action contains the sites 

whose protection would best complement from an archaeological, 

historical and recreational perspective, the resources in the existing 

sanctuary boundaries. Such maritime heritage resources require long-

term protection and management to reduce threats that could impact 

their historical, archeological, recreational and educational value. 

There is a need to apply education and outreach efforts to shipwrecks 

beyond the sanctuary's existing boundary to promote responsible use of 

sanctuary resources and help reduce human impacts. The comprehensive 

and coordinated management that NOAA would provide includes extensive 

research, education, and outreach programs. This would fill important 

gaps in archeological knowledge and historical context of these 

shipwrecks, and enhance sustainable recreational and tourism 


    While state laws and other applicable federal law (such as The 

Abandoned Shipwreck Act codified in 43 U.S.C. 2101, et seq.) intended 

to reduce the impact of human activities on historic shipwrecks and 

related maritime heritage resources have been effective, those laws 

only apply to abandoned property. Sanctuary regulation in the proposed 

expanded area would provide increased protection in the following ways: 

(1) The Sanctuary regulations would apply to all historic shipwrecks, 

not just abandoned shipwrecks; (2) The use of grappling hooks or other 

anchoring devices would be prohibited on underwater cultural resource 

sites that are marked with a mooring buoy; (3) ``Hand-taking'' of 

artifacts outside the Thunder Bay Underwater Preserve, but still within 

the revised Sanctuary boundary, would be prohibited; (4) Permit 

applications would be required to satisfy the Federal Archaeology 

Program guidelines for all sites located within the revised sanctuary 

boundary; and (5) as an additional enforcement mechanism, NOAA would 

still be able to assess civil penalties under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act for violation of sanctuary regulations.


C. History of Process


    NOAA selected the proposed boundary after considering alternatives 

evaluated when the sanctuary was designated in 2000; expansion 

alternatives later developed by the Sanctuary Advisory Council in 2007; 

and considerable public input during public scoping meetings in 2012. 

Historical and archaeological research conducted since the sanctuary's 

designation was used to establish the number and condition of resources 

within the proposed new boundary for TBNMS, as well as the historical, 

archeological and recreational significance of these sites. Nearly all 

of the known sites within the proposed action are eligible for listing 

on the National Register of Historic Places.

    NOAA designated the sanctuary as the nation's thirteenth national 

marine sanctuary in 2000 for the purpose of: ``Providing long-term 

protection and management to the conservation, recreational, research, 

educational, and historical resources and qualities of the area.'' 

Because new challenges and opportunities emerge with time, the NMSA 

requires periodic updating of sanctuary management plans (and 

regulations, if appropriate) to reevaluate site-specific goals and 

objectives and to develop management strategies and activities to 

ensure that the sanctuary best protects its resources. The original 

TBNMS management plan was written as part of the sanctuary designation 

process and published in the final environmental impact statement.\1\ 

The designation of the sanctuary in 2000 has had a tremendously 

positive socioeconomic impact on community development and maritime 

heritage tourism in Northeast Michigan, and as a result government 

officials and the public are interested in how a sanctuary expansion 

could further contribute to enhancing recreational and tourism 

opportunities for those communities. Expansion of the sanctuary 

boundaries could bring similar positive socioeconomic impacts to a 

larger geographic area in Michigan. As the idea for a boundary 

expansion has been considered for many years, NOAA has documented 

considerable support for expansion. The documentary support includes 

letters, resolutions, Congressional testimony, and Sanctuary Advisory 

Council recommendations from the past five years.\2\







    In 2007, as part of the management plan review process, NOAA 

established a sanctuary advisory council boundary expansion working 

group to evaluate whether the boundary should be expanded to protect, 

manage, and interpret additional shipwrecks and other potential 

maritime heritage resources. The boundary expansion working group 

identified and considered the following study area for evaluation of 

boundary alternatives: a 4,110-square-mile area that extended the 

current sanctuary south into Alcona County, north into Presque Isle 

County, and east to the international border with Canada. The study 

area was identified based on the density of known and undiscovered 

resources, the historical, archaeological, and recreational 

significance of individual and collective resources, and the maritime 

landscape. On May 22, 2007, the boundary expansion working group 

presented this recommendation to the Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC). 

The SAC responded by passing a resolution to expand the boundaries to 

the recommended area. Based on this recommendation, Senator Carl Levin 

introduced two sanctuary expansion bills into the U.S. Congress, but 

they were never brought to a vote.

    In 2009, NOAA published an updated final management plan.\3\ In 

response to the Sanctuary Advisory Council's recommendation, the 

Thunder Bay NMS Final Management Plan (2009) contains a strategy 

(Strategy RP-1) to ``Evaluate and assess a proposed expansion of the 

sanctuary to a 3,662-square-mile area from Alcona County to Presque 

Isle County, east to the international border with Canada to protect, 

manage, and interpret additional shipwrecks and other potential 

maritime heritage resources.'' This action plan formed the basis for 

NOAA's current proposed action. The 3,662-square-mile area added to the 

area of the existing sanctuary would have resulted in a total sanctuary 

area of 4,110 square-miles.






    In April 2012, NOAA held three public scoping meetings: in Alpena, 

Harrisville and Rogers City, which were attended by 22, 6 and 14 

people, respectively. In addition, NOAA received 21 letters and emails, 

with an additional seven comments submitted through the online portal. 

Most of the comments submitted were in support of boundary expansion. 

In fact, several people suggested a slightly larger area than 4,110 

square-miles to protect an additional five historic shipwrecks. This 

larger area, for a total of 4,300 square miles, is presented in this 

proposed action.


II. Summary of the Proposed Regulations


    The proposed regulatory action would expand the boundaries of the 

sanctuary, increasing the total area of the sanctuary from 448 square 

miles to approximately 4,300 square miles. The southern boundary of the 

sanctuary begins where the southern boundary of Alcona County 

intersects with the ordinary high water mark of Lake Huron and runs 

east until it intersects the U.S./Canada international boundary. The 

eastern boundary of the sanctuary follows the international boundary 

until it intersects with the 45[deg]50' N line of latitude. The 

northern boundary follows this line of latitude (45[deg]50' N) westward 

until it intersects the 84[deg]20' W line of longitude. The western 

boundary extends south along this line of longitude (84[deg]20' W) 

until it intersects the ordinary high water mark at Cordwood Point. 

From there, the western boundary follows the ordinary high water mark 

as defined by Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands, of P.A. 451 

(1994), as amended, until it intersects the southern boundary of Alcona 

County. The table in Appendix A of Thunder Bay National Marine 

Sanctuary regulations provides several coordinates used to define the 

boundaries of the sanctuary. A map of this expanded area can be found 

on our Web site at 

and in the draft environmental impact statement.


III. Summary of Proposed Changes to the Sanctuary Terms of Designation


    Section 304(a)(4) of the NMSA requires that the terms of 

designation for national marine sanctuaries include: (1) The geographic 

area included within the Sanctuary; (2) the characteristics of the area 

that give it conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, 

research, educational, or esthetic value; and (3) the types of 

activities subject to regulation by NOAA to protect those 

characteristics. This section also specifies that the terms of the 

designation may be modified only by the same procedures by which the 

original designation is made.

    To implement this action, NOAA is proposing to make changes to the 

TBNMS terms of designation, which were previously published in the 

Federal Register on June 22, 2000 (65 FR 39042). The changes would:


[[Page 35779]]


    1. Modify Article II ``Description of the Area'' by changing the 

description of size of the sanctuary and describing the proposed new 

boundary for the sanctuary.

    2. Modify Article III ``Characteristics of the Area That Give It 

Particular Value'' by changing the description of the nationally 

significant characteristics of the area included in the Sanctuary.

    3. Modify Article V ``Effect on Other Regulations, Leases, Permits, 

Licenses, and Rights'' to reflect the new organization within NOAA.

    The revised terms of designation are proposed to read as follows 

(new text in parentheses and deleted text in brackets):


(Proposed Revisions to the Terms of Designation for the Thunder Bay 

National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve)


    Under the authority of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as 

amended (the ``Act'' or ``NMSA''), 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq., Thunder Bay 

and its surrounding waters offshore of Michigan, and the submerged 

lands under Thunder Bay and its surrounding waters, as described in 

Article II, are hereby designated as the Thunder Bay National Marine 

Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve for the purposes of providing long-

term protection and management to the conservation, recreational, 

research, educational, and historical resources and qualities of the 

area. Section 304(a)(4) of the NMSA requires that the terms of 

designation include the geographic area included within the Sanctuary; 

the characteristics of the area that give it conservation, 

recreational, ecological, historical, research, educational, or 

esthetic value; and the types of activities that will be subject to 

regulation by the Secretary of Commerce to protect those 

characteristics. The terms of designation may be modified only by the 

procedures provided in Section 304(a) of the Act (the same procedures 

by which the original designation is made). Thus, the terms of 

designation serve as a constitution for the Sanctuary.


Article II. Description of the Area


    The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve 

consists of an area of approximately (4,300) [448] square miles of 

waters of Lake Huron and the submerged lands thereunder, over, around, 

and under the underwater cultural resources in Thunder Bay. (The 

boundaries form a polygon by extending along the ordinary high water 

mark of the Michigan shoreline from approximately the northern and 

southern boundaries of Presque Isle and Alcona counties, respectively, 

cutting across the mouths of rivers and streams, and lakeward from 

those points along latitude lines to the U.S./Canada international 

boundary. A more detailed description of the boundary and a list of 

coordinates are set forth in the regulations for the sanctuary at 15 

CFR part 922 subpart R.) [The boundary forms an approximately 

rectangular area by extending along the ordinary high water mark of the 

Michigan shoreline from the northern and southern boundaries of Alpena 

County, cutting across the mouths of rivers and streams, and lakeward 

from those points along latitude lines to longitude 83 degrees west. 

The coordinates of the boundary are set forth in Appendix A to the 



Article III. Characteristics of the Area That Give It Particular Value


    Thunder Bay and its surrounding waters contain approximately (92 

known) [116] (historic) shipwrecks spanning more than a century of 

Great Lakes maritime history. (Archival research indicates that as many 

as 100 additional historic shipwrecks are yet to be found.) Virtually 

every type of vessel used on open Great Lakes waters has been 

documented in the Thunder Bay region, linking Thunder Bay inextricably 

to Great Lakes commerce. Most of the Great Lakes trades had a national, 

and sometimes an international, significance, and resulted in uniquely-

designed vessels. Although not all of Thunder Bay's shipwrecks have 

been identified, studies undertaken to date indicate strong evidence of 

the [Bay's] (region's) national historic significance. The sunken 

vessels reflect transitions in ship architecture and construction 

methods, from wooden sailboats to early iron-hulled steamers.

    (We draw s) [S]everal major conclusions regarding Thunder Bay's 

shipwrecks [may be drawn] from research and analysis undertaken to 

date: they are representative of the composition of the Great Lakes 

merchant marine from 1840 to 1970; they provide information on the 

various phases of American westward expansion; they provide information 

on the growth of American extraction and use of natural resources; they 

illustrate various phases of American industrialization; one shipwreck 

(Isaac M. Scott) may be used to study and interpret a specific event 

(the Great Storm of 1913) that had strong repercussions regionally, 

nationally, and internationally; and they provide interpretive material 

for understanding American foreign intercontinental trade within the 

Great Lakes. (In addition to the submerged resources described above, 

there are other aspects of the region's maritime cultural landscape. A 

cultural landscape is a geographic area including both cultural and 

natural resources, coastal environments, human communities, and related 

scenery that is associated with historic events, activities or persons, 

or exhibits other cultural or aesthetic values. The Thunder Bay region 

is comprised of many shoreline features such as beached shipwrecks, 

lighthouses, aids to navigation, abandoned docks, working waterfronts 

and Native American sites. Also important are the intangible elements 

such as spiritual places and legends.) Thunder Bay was established as 

the first State of Michigan Underwater Preserve in 1981 to protect 

underwater cultural resources. Increasing public interest in underwater 

cultural resources underscores the importance of continued efforts to 

discover, explore, document, study and to provide long-term, 

comprehensive protection for the Bay's shipwrecks and other underwater 

cultural resources.


Article V. Effect on Other Regulations, Leases, Permits, Licenses, and 



    Section 2. Other. If any valid regulation issued by any Federal, 

State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction, regardless of when 

issued, conflicts with a Sanctuary regulation, the regulation deemed by 

the Director, Office of (National Marine Sanctuaries) [Ocean and 

Coastal Resource Management], National Oceanic and Atmospheric 

Administration, or his or her designee, in consultation with the State 

of Michigan, to be more protective of Sanctuary resources shall govern. 

Pursuant to Section 304(c)(1) of this Act, 16 U.S.C. 1434(c)(1), no 

valid lease, permit, license, approval, or other authorization issued 

by any Federal, State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction, or 

any right of subsistence use or access, may be terminated by the 

Secretary of Commerce, or his or her designee, as a result of this 

designation, or as a result of any Sanctuary regulation, if such lease, 

permit, license, approval, or other authorization, or right of 

subsistence use or access was issued or in existence as of the 

effective date of this designation. However, the Secretary of Commerce, 

or his or her designee, in consultation with the State of Michigan, may 

regulate the exercise of such authorization or right consistent with 

the purposes for which the Sanctuary is designated.


[End of Terms of Designation.]


[[Page 35780]]


IV. Classification


A. National Environmental Policy Act


    NOAA has prepared a draft environmental impact statement to 

evaluate the impacts of this proposed rulemaking. No significant 

adverse impacts to resources and the human environment are expected. 

Rather, long-term beneficial impacts are anticipated if the proposed 

action is implemented. Under NEPA (43 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an 

environmental assessment would have sufficed to analyze the impacts of 

this action since NOAA is proposing that no significant impacts are 

likely. However, the NMSA requires NOAA to publish a draft 

environmental impact statement (DEIS) regardless of the intensity of 

the impacts of the proposed action if NOAA is considering changing the 

terms of designation of a sanctuary (16 U.S.C. 1434 (a)(2)). Copies of 

the DEIS are available at the address and Web site listed in the 

ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule.


B. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Impact


    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant within 

the meaning of Executive Order 12866.


C. Executive Order 13132: Federalism Assessment


    NOAA has concluded this regulatory action does not have federalism 

implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a federalism 

assessment under Executive Order 13132.


D. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 

Tribal Governments


    Concurrent with the development of this proposed rule, NOAA invited 

the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) to participate in 

government-to-government consultation. CORA gathers representatives 

from the Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and 

Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse 

Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians 

under its mantle. NOAA plans to continue collaboration with the CORA 

and invite each individual tribe to government-to-government 

consultation. Consultation under E.O. 13175 is expected to be completed 

before the publication of the final rule.


E. Regulatory Flexibility Act


    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 

certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 

Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not 

have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 

entities. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601(3)) defines 

``small business'' as having the same meaning as ``small business 

concern'' under the Small Business Act. Pursuant to the Small Business 

Act, a small business concern is one which is independently owned and 

operated and which is not dominant in its field of operation (15 U.S.C. 


    Small business concerns operating within the sanctuary include 

consumptive recreational charter businesses and non-consumptive 

recreational charter businesses. For the area subject to this proposed 

action, these include:

a. Consumptive Recreational Charter Businesses

    A sports and recreation business is considered a ``small'' business 

if it has annual receipts not in excess of $7 million (13 CFR 121.201). 

Three consumptive recreational charter businesses (also known as 

commercial passenger fishing vessels or CPFVs) are active in the TBNMS.

b. Non-Consumptive Recreational Charter Businesses

    Both sports and recreation businesses, and scenic and sightseeing 

transportation businesses are considered ``small'' businesses if they 

have annual receipts not in excess of $7 million (13 CFR 121.201). Over 

six non-consumptive recreational charter businesses take passengers to 

the TBNMS. These businesses primarily support non-consumptive diving, 

snorkeling and sightseeing activities.

    It has been determined that the proposed prohibitions that would 

apply to the area under consideration for expansion would not interfere 

with the operation of existing charter diving and sightseeing small 

businesses because these regulations are compatible with sustainable 

tourism. In fact, protecting the shipwrecks may make them better 

recreational venues. Therefore, there will be no adverse economic 

impact to recreational charter diving and sightseeing small businesses 

operating in the proposed sanctuary expansion area.

    Because NOAA is not proposing any fishing regulations as part of 

this action, there will be no adverse economic impact to recreational 

charter fishing small businesses operating in the proposed sanctuary 

expansion area. Other sanctuary regulations are not expected to affect 

charter fishing small businesses either.

    According to a regional 2005 study on total visitor spending, the 

sanctuary benefits the local economy by partially contributing $92 

million in sales, $35.8 million in personal income to residents, $51.3 

million in value added and 1,704 jobs through increased tourism.

    NOAA works with local officials to recruit new businesses, as well 

as to expand existing operations. Alpena Shipwreck Tours serves as an 

example of a new business recruited by NOAA and local officials. In the 

summer of 2011, Alpena Shipwreck Tours began glass-bottomed boat tours 

in the sanctuary. The company invested $800,000+ in the 65' glass-

bottomed vessel, and has been successful thus far. NOAA has also worked 

with local groups to recruit and promote new outfitters, kayak tours, 

bike rentals, dive shops and charters.

    In addition, the sanctuary's visitor center--Great Lakes Maritime 

Heritage Center--is a major tourist destination for the region, hosting 

approximately 60,000 visitors annually. This is significant because the 

population of the city of Alpena itself is only 11,000 people.

    Because the impacts of this proposed rule on the recreational 

charter fishing businesses and the recreational charter diving business 

would have no impact or actually a beneficial economic impact, the 

Chief Counsel for Regulation certified to the Chief Counsel for 

Advocacy at SBA that this rulemaking would not have a significant 

economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.


F. Paperwork Reduction Act


    This proposed rule contains a collection-of-information requirement 

subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) which has been approved by 

the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0648-

0141. The public reporting burden for national marine sanctuary general 

permits is estimated to average 1 hour 30 minutes per response, 

including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data 

sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and 

reviewing the collection of information.

    Nationwide, NOAA issues approximately 200 national marine sanctuary 

general permits each year. Of this amount, TBNMS does not typically 

issue any sanctuary general permits. The permitting regulations for 

TBNMS specify that under certain conditions a person may conduct an 

otherwise prohibited activity if it is conducted in accordance with a 

state permit and the State Archaeologist certifies to NOAA


[[Page 35781]]


that the activity will be conducted consistent with the Memorandum of 

Agreement. In the absence of certification from the State Archaeologist 

or if no State permit is required, a person may secure a sanctuary 

general permit directly from NOAA to conduct a prohibited activity if 

the activity is conducted in accordance with a Federal permit. Even 

though this proposed rule may result in a few additional permit 

applications, due to the overall larger area under management, this 

rulemaking would not appreciably change the average annual number of 

respondents on a national level or the reporting burden for this 

information requirement. Therefore, NOAA has determined that the 

proposed regulations do not necessitate a modification to its 

information collection approval by the Office of Management and Budget 

under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of 

this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, 

may be sent to NOAA (see ADDRESSES) and to OMB by email to or fax to (202) 395-7285. Notwithstanding any 

other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall 

any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a 

collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, 

unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB 

Control Number.


G. National Historic Preservation Act


    The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA; Pub. L. 89-

665; 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) is intended to preserve historical and 

archaeological sites in the United States of America. The act created 

the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic 

Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices. Section 106 of 

the NHPA requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of 

their undertakings on historic properties, and afford the Advisory 

Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) a reasonable opportunity to 

comment. The historic preservation review process mandated by Section 

106 is outlined in regulations issued by ACHP (36 CFR part 800). The 

Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, which implements section 

106 of the NHPA, is located in the Michigan State Housing Development 

Authority. NOAA has and continues to consult with the State Historic 

Preservation Officer on matters related to Section 106 of the NHPA. A 

programmatic agreement will be developed if the expansion of the 

sanctuary is finalized and if it is determined to be necessary.


V. Request for Comments


    NOAA requests comments on this proposed rule for 60 days after 

publication of this notice.